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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  August 8, 2013 10:00am-1:01pm EDT

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insurance. .hey say it is not cancer it is an aggressive tumor that comes back 40% of the time after surgery. it only three on 1 million people get it. now they tell me it is not malik and, but if it is not benign, it is it malignant? speak to yourot case. only your doctor can look at your pathology report. agency, we based our research direction on where the biology leads us and where the scientific insights are, rather than tissue. host: what are the next steps that you have this information for your institute? guest: trying to develop registries. the best way to learn a natural
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behavior of a tumor detected by screening is to follow it forward in time. the best way to do that is with prospectively-collecting registries, tumors that are annotated, the talk about the stage and what it looks like, we know what nutations they have, and in addition, how they were diagnosed. screening tends to detect slow-growing regions. another area of research is how to best convey the underlying biology. finally, working on ways to modify the terminology to better fit what we know about the biology. kramer, thank you for your time. we go now to the center for american progress here in washington, d.c. a look at the discretion of
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school district consolidation. the issues include funding, the economy, and funding school systems. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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morning frome this the center for american progress for the panel discussion on the effectiveness of school district consolidation. we expect the conversation to include education funding, economies of scale, and new funding systems. the center for american progress has released a report on the issue. brown, the educational vice policy president at the progress, american will monitor the event.
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>> good morning and welcome to the center for american progress. i am cynthia brown, vice president for educational policy. aank you for joining us for party but small group, but we know that you are deeply interested in the topic for today, our own port on school district size. panelists for the participating today, contributing to our ongoing conversation about education reform. across the nation, policy makers have begun to look at the fundamental design of our education system. our education governance structures were built in a
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different era, and in many states, little attention has been given to improving the organization and design the state's education systems. over time, many states have allowed some exceedingly on governance systems to evolve. nebraska, for example, there are a number of non districts -- school districts that are non- contiguous. in other words, nested like islands within the confines of other districts. we have been long interested in the issue of school governance, and a few years ago, we and the thomas ford institute join forces to tackle the issue of governance and ask how our system of k-12 governments might be modernized. as part of a collaboration, we released a book and education governments in january and we are planning a never report over the coming years. this paper is also part of that
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cooperation and it focuses in particular on the issue of school district size. timely, and many states and districts have recently been discussing consolidation efforts. in his 2011 budget address, ill. pat quinn called for a commission to consider the number of school districts in the state. as governor, ed rendell also pushed for consolidation in pennsylvania and proposed consolidating their 501 pat quinn called for a commission todistricts into 100. states including michigan and california have also discussed merging districts in recent years. we would like to talk more about these initiatives over the course of this event, but before i do, i would like to take a moment to introduce the panel.
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first we have charlie barone, policy director for democrats for education reform. he lives and grew up in new jersey and will give us a national and state-level look at the issues. we are are also fortunate to have with us today doris terry williams. she is the executive director of the rule school and community trust. she was previously associate professor at north carolina central university school of education. doris also led the institutions teacher education program. now i would like to turn the podium over to my colleagues, a here. fellow he is the author of today's report and will delve deeper into the study and explain the methodology behind the report. after he concludes, we will have
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a panel discussion and some questions about the report and the issue, and then we will open it up to the audience. thank you. >> thank you, cindy. i also want to thank juliana herman for the help that she provided on this report. she did a lot of data analysis and writing while she was here at the center. i also want to thank rob hanna, who also provided a lot of work on the report. he is not here with us today. i wanted to make sure that both of them got credit for their hard work. when it comes to education, not all spending is people. some education dollars are spent for more productively than others. some districts spend their
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resources well and show much higher levels of achievement than others. in this time of lagging revenues, policy makers have increasingly been paying attention to the question of whether or not we're getting the most out of every school dollar. at the same time, we have an increased focus on governance. part of the issue is that governance issues, structures, have led to haphazard spending configurations in states. in new jersey, for instance, one school district spends $50,000 per year to send their high school students to another high school nearby. the issue is largely a governance one. in new jersey, over all, spending per student is $17,000. the two strings of work, productivity and government, have led us to ask, can we restructure our education system in ways that might save money
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and increase student achievement? the debate over school district size goes back centuries. efforts to reform small school districts started in the early 19th century when education was highly localized and towns and cities were the major funders of schools. as states took responsibility for education, many chose to institutionalize town and city structures as local indication agencies. dourly the early 20th-century, the push to consolidate became more aggressive, and the result of these efforts between 1940 and today, the number of districts dropped dramatically just 14, many areas race played a role in how districts consolidated in which did not. so did issues of wealth and poverty. whatever the root cause is, it
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is clear, small districts today are not necessarily isolated. in illinois, 91 of the state's 392 districts are classified as suburban. in new jersey, there are 138 suburban districts. clear, smaller districts have higher costs. why? havene, small districts smaller schools and larger overhead expenses. another issue is they have to provide students with a full courses, even if there are fewer students. this could mean hiring a chemistry teacher for only four students. this problem is highlighted in states such as colorado where school courses, districts have n
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average a teacher india -- teacher to student ratio of 16 to 1. there is no easy answer to the problem of small districts. for a long time, policymakers have been focused on consolidation. our report tries to put national and state-by-state estimates on the scope of these problems. let me explain how we approached it to give you the sense of our methodology. we relied on cost estimate usedes produced and we these and studies to create a ct curve, and then average a teacher india -- we ao expenditures in the 2010 school year, the most recent available. another way to think about it, if a school district has 750 students and the additional costs associated with that was we would them to 1000, say that they had a loss of potential cost, and then the per d it out for
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people expenditure. these are not firm numbers. there are shortcomings with our methought -- methodology that i am happy to talk about in the q&a, but what we wanted to highlight was this issue. the other thing i want to is an optimal there size of school districts. most researchers put its between 2000 and 4000 students. we made sure to exclude rural districts. we used census code to do that because they wanted to highlight a lost capacity of school districts that could function in a more productive way. based on these calculations and the research, we uncover the following. small non-remote districts may represent as much as $1 billion in unnecessary cost. costs weretes, these relatively large. in new jersey, the estimated loss per capacity was about
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$100,000 per teacher. 10 states account for $650 million in lost cost. smallistence of districts is hardly universal. in new york, we found the state's small non-remote districts represent almost $100 million in lost cost. in illinois, the estimate is more than $90 million. in other states like maryland and florida, with larger districts, there was no lost cost associated with small districts. to address the problem of small districts, we present a number of recommendations, fully aware that there is not one of my solution here. we recommend states should generally avoid one size fits all approach is to maximizing district size. the report finds that is an optl many districts suffer from lost capacity due to their small size but there is no easy solution to the problem. the best solution for one
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district may not be the best for another. the evidence also suggests policy makers should take more into account the context of local districts and their needs. we also recommend states and districts reform their school management systems. we believe policy-makers should create management system that are flexible on inputs and strict on outcomes. states and districts should also take the opportunity to rethink the role the school district's play in our education system. finally, we recommend states and districts consider regionalization and the sharing of services and resources where possible. states can ease the burden of small districts through the creation of state-supported education service agencies to increase overall productivity. i will turn to the panel now to discuss this more in detail. i am happy to answer any questions you might have.
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>> we want to talk about small we want to expand the conversation into what i would call legitimately small districts, which are these more isolated, rural areas. who do you identify as your constituents? rural, we used to 43 andcodes 40, 41, those are school districts that are geographically apart from urban centers. some are considered remote and
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isolated. others are small towns. >> certainly, not those clustered around big metropolitan areas. >> no. inthat is not the situation new jersey. yourie, talk to us about new jersey experience? people like me think of new jersey as a suburb of new york or philadelphia -- >> you do not think of bruce springsteen? [laughter] >> i had an aunt and uncle on the shore, but i was able to get to the outer parts of new jersey. now that i have installed in your state, could you talk about it? >> we are used to it. actually, really nice in some places, but we play that down. just think of the opening of the
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"sopranos." this report got me thinking a lot about new jersey. it is a unique state. you do not have one large city that dominates the state, like you do in new york, illinois, california. you have a lot of smaller cities and a lot of small towns. part of the reason for that is they are old. you have real communities, so it is different than what you have in virginia, maryland, places like arlington. they are not really towns, so they do not have the same identification. one thing that is different, you have a lot of tourist areas, particularly along the coast. they are dense in terms of housing, but the year-round residents, the number is very low. i was thinking about cape may county. i do not know what it costs them $50,000 to send their kids to a
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regional school, but there are not a lot of full-time cape may residents who are there all year. in some ways, it may make sense to send their kids to the regional school. further consolidation there may be limited because they are already going away to get this -- to this regional school, and they would have to go further if they would consolidate more. i am glad the report said you do not want a one-size-fits-all solution, you want something that is tailored to the state and the goal of academic achievement. >> where does consolidation fit into this? with capethe issue may, to get into that area. they are being charged that by the other school districts. the other school district had a choice of six funding formulas they could choose from to charge
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cape may. this highlights the broader issue -- i am no expert on cape may -- but this issue of governance structures over all where you have a lot of these suburban k-6 school districts. with that comes a lot of additional costs. back to your question, a lot of policy makers recently have been looking to the issue of consolidation. we have seen it in michigan, pennsylvania, illinois, and it seems like a one-size-fits-all approach, but the evidence is mixed across research. you have a lot of destruction in communities when consolidation has been pushed down. a lot of additional cost with house school districts that have to work with the buildings that are closed or shut down. so this argument is not
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necessarily that consolidation is necessarily the wrong approach -- is the wrong approach to take. when we have consolidation first pushed, this was the 1950's, 1960's. today we have the internet, which allows us to deliver education much more flexibly, we have a better sense of managing systems for performance. increasearget is to student achievement. we knew this was a problem, but we need to think more broadly about how we can provide these districts with better support, whether it is regional cost saving measures or allow them greater flexibility around staffing, that allows them to take advantage of supports and capacities that are out there. >> doris, i know that some of your members have been very concerned about consolidation.
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what is the landscape like? is very diverse. it is difficult to say what is happening in rural america in general. what we have found is, particularly in the south and southwest, rural school districts have been consolidated almost to the hills. very large districts in their role self. we think, to a large extent, we have reached the economies of scale in these communities. that makes sense for those communities. but what happens, for the most part, you do not achieve cost savings and the quality that most proponents of consolidation assume that you will achieve by consolidation. particularly in the rural sites, you see it increased
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costs around transportation, lots more travel time for kids on buses, a much longer day. we have kids getting on the bus before daylight and they are getting off after sunset. when you factor those things into the formula of what is working, what should be the response to the small school problem -- and i do not like to think of it as a small school or small district problem -- it is a situation that exists that does not have to be problematic. when we look at it in terms of dollars saved by increasing numbers and reducing costs, i think, that is also not the right perspective for all places. a focushave proposed is on place. when we think about the
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economies of scale, it is bigger than what the dollars are that you are spending to educate a child. what is happening in that total place, and how can partnerships and other kinds of strategies come together to have a greater impact. looking at the dollars does not get at the quality and opportunities. what we are fighting also in rural places is we have been increased concentration of children in poverty, with special needs. the research has shown us over many years, all of these things contribute to higher cost. so the cost is not just about the numbers of kids in a
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building or district, but also about the needs of those kids. it is bigger than just the per- people cost. >> is consolidation an issue in new jersey? >> two interesting things are happening that are affecting the mix. christie first came in, he capped property taxes in new jersey, so he limited how much revenue a district could generate based on property tax structures. that was pressure from the state to consolidate things like police departments and schools. every town wants its own police department and school system. the other thing that is interesting that is happening is there is an intra-district choice program in new jersey that is up and running now. 6000 students in that program.
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looking at some of the small school districts in new jersey, one is the stockton borough school district, mercer county, the trenton area. school.k-6 they have 54 students. 12 right now are coming from other parts of mercer county, primarily trenton. next year they will have 17 more, so they will be between 25% and 30% of their students. in terms of numbers, not a huge impact, but it may be good policy if that could move to scale. is in the top 5% of k-6 schools in the state, whereas
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trenton is near the bottom. schools, 16ementary of our primary schools, or they are focus schools, which means they have large achievement gaps. a lot of other districts are this.g into stockton is not the only one doing this. some financial pressure from the state to consolidate because they are limiting when you can raise at the local level. newhe other end, you have a revenue source for schools that , and it is policy working in the other direction. is hard to say how this will play out over time. it is interesting how these two things are operating -- what about the race of the kids going to stockton?
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almost 100% white in stockton. it did not have reece data for the kids transferring, but there has to be some integration, i would think. minorityis a majority- school district. it could be -- it would be interesting to look at the race numbers. that is a good question. about race inalk small districts. you talk about a north carolina county where there are three different school two of them have only black, only one majority white. i take it race was the reason they were created? i think you live in the area. >> it is a very hot issue in
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that county, and in fact, in the state. the county has school -- three school districts. most of the districts in north carolina are county-wide districts. this county has three school districts. a smaller district is probably 97% african-american. then there is the county district itself which is also predominantly african-american. then there is the smaller one that you mentioned. they have been fighting over the consolidation issue for quite some time. there is the assumption that if they consolidate, kids who are in the county district, the smaller african-american district, will have more opportunity, will fare better educationally.
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the white district is terribly against consolidating, of but what isreasons, often missed in the conversation is the economics of those communities. this school district is separate from the boldin school district, predominately african- american, by a bridge, interstate 95, which crosses the main highway through town. as you cross under the bridge, you are hit by a totally inferent world than you see run of rapids. you have lots of hotels and businesses. has a tremendous economic history, but it is in total decline. you have high rates of poverty
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in the two african-american districts, a high rate of poverty in run of rapids, but not as high as the other two. so they have historic free underperformed in test scores and that kind of thing. the gets cut out of conversation is the differences in the districts, the impact of poverty. that is not to say that poverty is an excuse for low performance, but when you do not have the resources, when you do not have the opportunity, the funding to do extensive learning -- there has been a lot of research on the impact of poverty on school achievement. why we try to take a bigger view, affectsnding that what
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achievement in schools is not just what happens in schools. there is a bigger piece, it is about place. it is about what kids have the opportunity to do and participate in the outside of school as well. kids in higher resource communities, families with greater resources, are able to have those extended learning opportunities that allow them to keep up and accelerate during off-school time. kids in poverty do not have those opportunities. and then, of course, there are historical issues around race and oppression, those kinds of things in the south that are playing out in the situation that you describe. >> have there been lawsuits tried to dismantle this? activityis a lot of
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with the civil rights project at unc chapel hill, looking at the issue of equity around that issue. interestingly, recently, the for theommissioners county of halifax provide local funding for all three of the districts. are anti-consolidation. recently, one of the members of the county commissioners made a motion to consolidate the district. he knew that the motion would fail. but what they did was table the issue for two more years, unless he chooses to bring it back up. so when you think about that, what will happen if those districts are actually consolidated and they are still generally locally, financially dependent on this white body
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that has been totally anti- consolidation from the beginning? a as many folks know, i have background in civil-rights enforcement. although how you prove discrimination by the law with conservative courts -- it has been more constrained over the last 40 years. still, i wonder if there is a racial pattern in how they distribute the money. today do it on per capita, but not based on need, like poverty? a local support for school districts in north carolina basically comes from property taxes. even if you distribute to the weldon city schools, they share the property taxes. it is not equitable at all. it is a low property --
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>> they do not do it on a county-wide basis. they do not take the county property tax and each of these three districts get a per- people amount, weighted amount. >> no, or property tax comes from your district. if you have those different districts, that is when you have. >> the big consolidation going on that people are watching around the country in is in memphis. of course, -- it may have something to do with small districts outside of memphis, but that is a very racially- charged effort. the thing that has interested me about new jersey is the racial aspect of the small districts.
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listening to you talk about the iigins of small communities, suppose they changed very dramatically when the migration from the south, particularly during world war two, during the transition to the chemical and defense industry -- my own father could not enlist because he worked in the defense industry and was prohibited from enlisting. they needed him on the home front. he lived in new jersey. i have in my mind is, now you have these school districts in new jersey, heavily white ones next door to heavily black and hispanic ones. i have always wondered about the racial motivation in drawing the boundary lines, but that may not have been what happened.
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african- a part of americans coming up from the south to take jobs and move into communities. i do not know much about the history of new jersey to really make an intelligent comment about it. as a native, charlie? >> it is interesting. carolina,bout north and your mind already goes to racial discrimination. it is uprsey, -- north. part of the motivation has to be racial, at this point. drawn in ans incredibly complicated way. you have cities, towns, something called townships, counties that also have government in new jersey. that there is a
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different level of service in the hire minority, low-income towns. you can see fewer street lights. -- you know, my street is 75% african-american. our streets do not tend to get ploughed when it snows. the next street over its 75% white, they tend to get plowed. i do not know if it is the way they drew the boundaries and if it is anecdotal, but some of it has to be racial. even if it is not, your point is still valid, that you have these isolated the urban areas like camden, patterson, newark, aeasantville, which is troubled school district.
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that is one reason why this in turn-district choice thing intrigued me. ryland thehave the -- schools are doing this where you have schools on the periphery and you can leverage small schools. andt makes a lot of sense certainly people on the right have argued that we should have the small districts to foster that, but for that to work, we need to provide these other supports. new jersey has been innovative in some ways of treating this shared superintendent program. districts can lessen administrative costs. even looking at charter management organizations, to think more broadly about how you might create virtual support and capacity building for disparate school districts that allows and shape.w
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the choice alone can provide some levers, but also thinking more broadly about ways that we can be more thoughtful about the management that will make this work. >> i totally agree. i do not think choice will do it alone. to me, thenia, -- charter management organization example raises this. a good follow-up to that would be, what thing to do a larger entity do well? in california, what the sacramento do well? it will be a pretty short list. i do not think it is a coincidence that the states that moretended to have accelerated to an achievement are smaller. maryland, delaware, massachusetts, louisiana, which is unique in some ways.
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we could have a debate about whether it is good or bad what is happening in the louisiana. the small school thing is in that mix, nested in that mix. what does a school and do well, what would be better to farm out to a larger entity? you do not have a lot of that farming out in a lot of states. not so much in california, new jersey. this superintendent sharing program is interesting and hopefully somebody will study that. how large do the other entities have to get to take on certain tasks in order to be affected? think your paper and the position that one size does not fit all is the right position to take. choice may help
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in some cases, but there needs to be real choice, if that is the case. it has to be about quality and kids, as opposed to the politics that we see around choice right now. in the places that we were, in most of the rural communities, high poverty, already consolidated, inter-district choice is often not an option. there are transportation costs. north carolina had a cap of 100 on its charter school program. that has since been removed. now we have charters popping up all over the state, but they are not held to the same kind of responsibilities for students, for transportation, food programs, and those kinds of things. if you are going to exercise choice, you have to be in a position to transport your kids too nonparticipation
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in the school lunch program. that will exclude many students and that means they do not actually have a choice, except to stay where they are. -- other part of that is, for example, in northeastern north carolina, and this is true in other states in the south. there is concentrated poverty not just within an individual school districts, but in the districts that are contiguous to it. i am i have a choice, going from my district to a district that is very much like my district. think the better strategy there is to do what we know works, to improve student outcomes. one of the things that we are
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seeing, and i wish we could see it more, is full service community schools. the report talks about facilities. if the schools are consolidated or if enrollment is declining and you have extra space, so to speak, one of the ways we can get to the economies of scale is by paring down the barriers between schools and service organizations and all these other things that happen in the havenity so that -- we this situation in my home county. ande was one high school the school board and district schoolsoard with other and pulled out kids into three other smaller high schools within the county, in a high- school building that was built
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to accommodate 1000 kids. you pull out 400 kids for a new tech school, another school, and that leaves the hands " -- a handful of kids at the high school. so what do you do with all that extra space? to get to economies of scale, one, we could put health clinics in those schools. students and their families would have greater and easier access to the health care that they need. there are lots of other services that could go in there. senior programs that could get students to bond with older citizens in the community, mentors, and that sort of thing. if we look at the unit of a space for development, as opposed to individual programs, we can get to greater economies of scale
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and address it in a more efficient way, a more full way, those outer school issues that impact school's success, as well as those family support issues that need to be addressed in order to insure greater success. >> are you a fan of the effort in mcdowell county, west virginia? >> iam. >> there is a great effort to bring all kinds of support services. -- >> iam. am. >> with the reduction of resources, they will have to build those partnerships. that is where a lot of lost productivity comes, when you have a crack transportation program for the senior citizens, -- transportation program for the senior citizens, for the schools. and then when the school board
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need transportation to go on field trips, to get the kind of experience they are not getting in schools, and then you have the church bans here being unused, the senior citizen vans being unused, we are wasting resources in that way. i would rather see partnerships and true collaborations within greatere as the response to the small school problem. i know you talk about small districts, but again, the district conversation always ends up focusing on schools. as districts consolidate, they tend also to consolidate schools. so the services, the relationships get to be much more distant, so we have kids who are more alienated, less connected to caring adults, and have less opportunity to take
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advantage of what we believe to be greater opportunity with the larger schools. forctually, your argument services is relevant to urban areas as well. they do not have the transportation issues so much that you are talking about, alwaysh, transportation seems to -- the efficiency of transportation always seems to follow the income level of a community. just as charlie's example of snowplows on snowy days. so i want to open up to the audience for questions that you might have about these issues we have been talking about. please tell us who you are. mindy, i am a sociologist. this is for dr. williams.
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i remember reading that canada was doing some interesting things with its rural schools, using technology in all sorts of thoughtful ways. i wonder if you could talk about interesting developments that you know, in terms of how you are using these new our opportunities to give kids access to interesting courses, a teacher training, opportunities to see other students from other parts of the state or country. >> good question. a number oforted efforts. there is a foundation in the appalachian region in tennessee which has a consortium of school districts where they have brought together -- i think they got a grant to help with this -- but they are using distance learning to fill the gap in
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curricula, programs at small and low-resource schools. we saw this happened some years ago in missouri with a product of your working with called education renewal zones. the idea that small schools do not have to hire a teacher, for example, for two or three kids. they could use technology. that is what they are doing in the appalachian region. provide those courses that the school are required to provide if they are going to be able high school, graduating kids, an accredited academy, but they do not need a teacher physically there. the difference between that kind of arrangement and when we see as a virtual high schools is that this consortium brings together teachers who are already in the region who are certified and have the content
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knowledge, who are trained to deliver in that technology format in a way that is engaging to students. so you were able to provide the chemistry course for foreign language courses, but you do not have the teacher in the building. sometimes, that effort is hampered by a lack access to the actual technology that is widthred to do that, band w and that sort of thing. even in lower resource communities where they have the technology, they do not have the support to maintain it. justof times, they are unable to continue in those kinds of efforts. the other thing that we see it schoolserships between
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and higher ed, offering these courses and filling in the gap as well. you also have a growing phenomenon in rural places, partnerships with local community colleges, so you have offered in offering partnership. some of it is a blended format. i always prefer that. if you are unable to bridge the transportation issue, then that is fine. that is different from a virtual school, and of itself. i am not a fan of full virtual schools. lots of times, the content is coming from somewhere out there, not necessarily place-oriented,
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not necessarily what the local schools and especially need. if you have something like what aorth carolina has, nclearns, technology-supported curriculum space, where teachers around the state developed in gauging curriculum, they place their work on line, and other teachers have access to that. it gets to the issue of teacher time. we have lots of resources where teachers get preparation for multiple courses. it helps with those kinds of things as well. so, yes, the use of technology is preferable, in my opinion, over consolidation. >> it has to be relevant for the small districts, but in your report you talk -- in your district in new jersey, there is no way they could have enough
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teachers -- are ainistrative costs small percentage of the cost of the districts. even if you are able to consolidate, you could only say moste numbers vary -- but schools are spending their money on teachers. when you look at colorado, districts that have less than 1000 students, is to it-to- teacher ratio of one to 12, other larger districts, one to 16. that is where technology could be a real savings mechanism, if used in a thoughtful way. >> do you know if technology is making a big impact in new jersey schools? >> i do not know. i am not saying that choice will not work. or the quality is not an issue.
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new jersey is different from other places. you have small school districts that are single school districts, but they're pretty nearby other districts drafted whereas in rural areas, you don't have that. the other thing that is interesting about this, 8 for 10 years ago you could not have this conversation because everything was small is better. especially if you wanted gates funding. i think technology and more innovative approaches will change the dynamic of size, whether it is for technology in otherdistricts, or things. public impact is involved in something called the opportunity culture. ,hey are doing important things trying to maximize the role of thing that works, particularly talented teachers, and get them
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to as many students as possible in a way that does not require you to staff up. pooling ase, you are resource of talented teachers, but the analysis could get down to the classroom level where it is making a difference, particularly for a smaller school that just cannot come up with the resources to pay an additional teacher. it is a mix of technology and human capital, where you have not taken people out of the equation, not 100% for travel, but the creative mix of small and scale. >> we are working with public impact ourselves and we will have an event in october which will look at extending the reach of teachers and the technology culture. we have a bunch of questions.
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thank you so much. my name is dr. moyer. i teach in one of the local colleges here. i first question is to the president of your research. in your recommendation, did you factor in the issue that doris talked about in north carolina where there is a tendency for certain schools to not really except the holistic approach to the type of structure that could elevating the academics for everyone? and if you did, did you notider things that had happened in new jersey -- you
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are from new jersey? with some of the research that out there wered a couple of schools in new the capital spending for each child was more than what they paid to put somebody through harvard. people begin to look at .ontemporary works a real issue. some look at finland, saying they had the best education in the world. going back to what you said about what is best for the child, having these different
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psychologies looking at these issues. the reason they are there happens to be -- >> and we agree. what is your question? me, in yourell research, how you plan to push it forward? >> for this project, we try to bite off a narrow slice. we know across research there are these economies of scale that operate in school districts. we knew from previous work that you saw these very small school districts in places where we thought they should not naturally occur, like in suburban new jersey, are on the
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outskirts of urban areas in chicago. was this economy of scale and then use that to look across the nation. so we did not look specifically at the issue that you brought up, which is how can the communities become more full- service, we really just looked at a very narrow slice for the specific report that doesn't dig into how can you rip -- figure out what is the associated cost or potential cost and capacity of these smaller school district. >> i would refer you to a lot of other work we have done here at the center. finance equity, we have numbers of papers about it, looking at sea in equities you are talking about. also about community schools. actually, doris once in a paper for us on community schools in rural areas, and we are advocates for equality.
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don't take on- we these big, broad issues in everything we do. this is looking at this one particular issue. other questions. sasha with the superintendents association. i had a question for charlie. i am also a jersey girl, so i personally think there is a little bit more going on to the caps, butroperty tax i just wanted to say that i was wondering in your research how much you look at the inefficiencies that are created when education service issues are working with districts because to me it seems like that is more of a half measure that should be explored. i know there is one in middlesex. i do not know how common they are in jersey compared to new york. if consolidation is the answer, i was just curious what the
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research says about the efficiency that can be as a result of education service agencies doing everything from administration of taking care of hr, taking care of special education services, i mean, they can do a lot for small districts. and rural district that are small as well. before we kind of go to the consolidation and what the pros and cons of those are, i just was curious if either of you could speak to what you know about education services and their ability to really save district dollars but also do so in a effective, student-focused way. one thing on the school finance of i want to touch on in and i will get to your question, school finance is tied up in this. i have got to do it, jeremy. [laughter] agree with you, what you said about christie. one thing they are doing it that by basically telling districts
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you are going to be able to raise less local money, it does but more of the pressure on states to come up with the money that they can validate. illinois is kind of the opposite example. you have the lowest state contribution to k-12 education pretty much in the country, and a lot of the schools in the areas are islands of wealth. one high school, which is not far from chicago, but is an island of wealth where they do extraordinarily well. and they like it that way. i know governor quinn had tried to do something around schools consolidation. i wonder if part of the deal in a place like illinois could be -- we will encourage you to consolidate, but we will chip in more money as a result into the state public education system both in terms of taking the burden off property tax, and trying to make things more
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equitable from the state level. know the research on educational service agencies. i know from having been a hill staffer, asa and other cease to come to us a lot and want to preserve their role in the and we gavestem, them the benefit of the doubt on that and let them stay involved. i do think we keep getting back to the question -- what is it that you want to consolidate, and what is it that you think might work better at a broader level? a lot of this could be done more strategically. you are going to share superintendents, it might be a good idea, and you could still have individual districts, to pair a superintendent of a district that is doing very well with one that is not. again, where i live, there is a high school a few miles in one
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direction, very low college entrance, very low college completion, very few students take ap classes. it is a middle-class school. so it is not going to go under priority, it is just going to float unless somebody says something. i high other direction, school with similar demographics, twice as many kids. take ap, get good scores, and the college, complete college. it would be nice if the state said hey, when you have something that is geographically close, and what district is doing better than the other, maybe it makes sense to turn management over, if the superintendent wanted to do it and say hey, you seem to have a good team and you are doing as well. and so that most of the education service agency model, but it is more strategic in the sense that it is built around trying to build entities where they already have a proven model
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that is working well and invest there. >> well, in your paper you do discuss -- >> the paper goes into some length discussion of this model as one approach to tackling this issue, both specifically as it exists in new york and has been , and delaware has started to extrema with this for a long time. relatively small, you have let students and delaware than you do in new york city. a long time, state law did not allow them to do any joint purchases whatsoever. that is something we recently pushed through. the issue though i think that we have to keep in mind is that ultimately this is not going to be a major cost-saving for school district, and most of your money is in teachers. so while i think this is important, and my paper goes a long way, to shine a light on
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these approaches, and i think the cmo's, not that they are ancillary, but they provide a way of thinking about how we manage school district that is different in the way that we do now that can provide a model, rethinking how we pay teachers, how we build a teacher letters, how they are reaching for students him are really going to be key if we want to reach more students, increase student achievement, while keeping our eye on the bottom fiscal line. >> a lot of things that may develop, particularly where their own -- where there are smaller school district, you will see centers like regional centers take on responsibilities around teacher evaluation, and perhaps even professional development from highly effective teachers. observers, a share valuator's, among school district as well as schools. -- eve valuator so among school amongct and -- evaluators
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schools as well as district. that will be better in certain parts of the country. other questions yo? >> thank you for putting on this panel. my name is sean. my most relevant affiliation if i attended a very small public school in illinois, graduate class of 1998. i wanted to ask you about are their constituency that are affected in the wake of consolidation? i went to a school that had been consolidated in the past and looking for the potential of being consolidated again. it seems to me that anecdote of glee when a town loses their school, that you seek lots of loss and community identity and vitality. you see the community's age, people tend to move where the schools and up. easy businesses dry up and property values drop. at least it is conceivable that efficiency the cost for students, you see losses in that community's economy and their
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kind of identity because a lot of these small towns, the school is what kind of brings the town together. so i was wondering if the panel had any thoughts about that. i know that small, rural districts where the focus of the report, but it has been brought up. >> that was one of your main points. >> i absolutely agree with you. there have been a couple of studies that looked at what happens to communities when they lose their school. you are absolutely right. which is again the reason we have to consider place. it is not just the bottom line dollar, cost versus students in the school. because the cost of education -- educating killed -- the cost of educating kids has to be part of, we have to consider what happens in the broader community and the support around that child when we consider cost. toin, i think we really want achieve economies of scale and
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increase productivity that we will look beyond the school. right now, we have summary that send ourace children from school into the criminal justice system, for example. we have a real problem with mass incarceration, and our kids are being put into a system at younger and younger ages. we don't hear a whole lot of pushback about what it costs to house an inmate for a year. kidse costs $17,000 to put , you know, the catalog for some school districts per child, to educate a child, and we are spending 3, 4, five times that amount to house an inmate, then what is it that we need to do? what are we really trying to do you go -- to do?
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if we want economies of scale, let's look at the bigger picture as well in figure out what does it take to really provide the opportunities for every child to have an excellent education. what does that cost? and let's do that. if we do that on this end, then we can reduce all this cost of these fancy new prisons and areof these things that we billing to house the kids that we are not educating. >> yep. >> that is one thing that it does. >> i'm here with education week. the question that you just asked, but the district they came immediately to mind was those tiny, this tiny desert in michigan that went bankrupt and now they have to dissolve a do not know where to send their kids, but i was thinking about this question of -- does
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building political will for this consolidations, i mean you talk about this, working with the place and you are in, but it's not like the question in new jersey is what is the place? is it the township i am in, should all the schools be working together in the township? the school district that are drawn out as they are now, in these strange considerations -- configurations. i have not read the report yet, but i wonder if you talk about how do you build clinical will to make changes to things that may have been in place for 100 years where people may have ties .o, you know, to what exists >> one solution that has worked in a some areas is just putting incentives on the table, this is what iowa has done. and i believe it also happened in kentucky is to sort of say if you want to consolidate, we will provide you over the next five years with these additional dollars, so it is not something
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that is necessarily coming from the state as a top-down mandate, but it is something that school district can provide for themselves so that they feel like they get other dividends from the state and types of incentives and figure out if that's type of approach than works best for them. been a number of school district over the past few years that have approach in this way. >> yeah, that makes a lot of sense to. that cynthia has been bringing up regarding race and and other things in geographic areas. it seems like there is a role for a facilitator or something else to step in and start having the conversations that go beyond the financial incentives to go about, and how we bring communities together, what is our community, really yo? more local advocacy
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than we have right now. there are a lot of dollars being put into advocacy around education issues right now. but not a lot of it is aimed at local issues. even the stuff that is being done at a statewide level could focus more on local issues. there is no group in new jersey that is really following up on this report. there are a lot of questions that the report raises, and in return for this, i had to track down some information that was not easy to get. no advocacy organization had put together. you do have a segregation issue here, it partly has to do with the way boundaries are drawn. so how do we push forward on that? >> i also say it has got to be fairly pragmatic. able to saybe something good about what christie did, even if you did not vote for him. he is not going to get a lot of question -- a lot of credit, and again i'm not thing that's is a
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because there will be some democrat that will say we cannot say anything about what christie does hurt for most of us in the room, we have got to get past that. and it works in both directions. you have on the republican side ast anything that this is union they consider school reform, even in school reform outsidearound appeared of the local unions pushing back , you don't have people at the local level trying to address those issues around what would make education better for kids romneyit is spotty country, but with all the resources being put into advocacy right now, even if the war on local, if we focus on local issues where this is more local.
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i do think -- you're cut -- your question about political will and races really interesting to look at in the memphis, shelby county situation because the memphis vote is to disband their school district. and become a part of shelby county. , lot of folks think of memphis it is heavily african-american school district, but it is not an all african-american school district. a racially-lf is mixed city. what i am not sure of is how the to abolish their school district. was clinical will, whether it was one race or it acial, there was
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political will to do that. on the other hand, i say most of the political will is negative around this, but still i have worked on the issues of school desegregation and integration in one way or another my entire career. my first job was investigating segregated schools for the office of civil rights. and my view is this is very personal about school integration is that it is an issue that never goes away. the time you think all, my gosh, there is no hope, you see a growing number of school kahlenberg at a college organization has written a lot about socioeconomic integration, which have a big racial effect. they could.
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big. they are trying to integrate their schools on a socioeconomic basis with very strong racial implications. it is growing in number. think as the country becomes , as gap income wealth rose, i think you do see education leaders at local levels and communities around the country that are willing to tackle that issue. so that is political will. is it very organized? or in some kind of national movement? do not particularly, but i think it is an issue that never quite died, thank god. >> i think the question of political will is a good question. there is a lot going on into advocacy, but there is not a whole lot of will to even talk about the real issues of race
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and socioeconomic in the context of schools. and school performance. we tend to look, again, at dollars and test scores. perceptione is this of broadly -- and the communities now that's we are post-racial, we have got a black president. so there is not a lot of will or space to really talk about those racial issues that are still very present with us. schools -- it is going to continue to be an issue . but as we look, for example, in the south again, where we see a ofwing concentration children of color in public -- many of these schools and school district are much
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more segregated now than they were 20 years ago. so there is a growing issue around those things that we have not as a public prepared to talk about or willing to talk about and to tackle. >> just a jump in on this, to answer your question more specifically on this type of community building of political will that it is very much a local issue. from theto be done ground up. there was a study done a few years ago by this sociologist and canada who was looking at communities that were growing more racially diverse over time. when they started looking at the communities, they found some population of people who are more racially diverse trust of their neighbors less, but when i started to interview those people more closely and look the people who actually communicated with their neighbors of all races, those people actually -- there levels of trust increased. so i think that when we think
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about how we're going to deal with these issues, these kind of local advocacy organizations and trying to build this up from the ground up as opposed to sitting in a state capital or in washington saying we can sort of figure out ways to create these types of communities as much as they are organic forms. there are things we can do to support that type of work, what also realizing that it is something many to come from the communities themselves. >> we have to remember that local political will is formed within a broader context. in theimages that we see media, the kinds of messages that are put out with respect to diverse population helped to or the lack of it. again, it is all connected. we have to call on the media to
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do a better job, a different kind of job in creating the images that it creates. right, oh, jeremy, we have to hear from jeremy. he used to work your with us. >> i'm jeremy with the house of education workforce committee. what -- i the question, one of the regulations in the report was to create focus management systems. my guess is one of the goals was to increase productivity and efficiency, and that may or may not have to do with consolidation if we move to performance management systems, could you just -- can any of you talk about that a little bit more? you started to do that. if you want to talk about the federal level, that is great, but if not, that is fine too. but what are some of the ways you think those management systems can help us improve efficiency? time, we sort of had a factory mile in education.
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we were focused on students coming in and those types of input. i think when we think about what we have done now in education, from the federal level, we have been very specific about outcomes. actually open up schools to do things in new ways. of regulation around that that is not allow for new types of blended learning or virtual schools. it is not love students who perhaps are doing better on exams to progress to the next level. so we have kind of created a system where we have been very persistent on the outcomes, but have not been opened up in enough ways to allow for that innovation to occur. so when you think about what are ways that might increase -- look, if you are a superintendent and you get a fixed amount of money to spend
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on school technology, you would be an idiot to not spend the money could you get that technology money, and you spend it on whatever technology you can buy. and aates a system culture -- that is the rational thing for that superintendent to studentg if we move to funding ways or other ways that allow for focused on trying to make sure that all students are achieving, and you get your money, and you are allowed to use it anyways, technology might not be the best way to teach algebra, but it might be a good -- a great way to engage students in physics or english language arts. sigh think about when we think more the focust then output, that is the thought that goes behind it. i think for me productivity model, it is specifically important because you want to have ways in which local leaders are able to use their dollars in innovative ways.
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productivity reports, now a few years old, we did find good examples about the village in massachusetts that was able to save money by combining their i.t. department of the local village with the school district. lere -- that will not work in a unified or new york city, but that is an example of ways where you can be more flexible in tackling these issues. >> right -- last question -- all right, last question. >> on cable one, you have a list of the 10 states that have the largest test potential. , on theese questions state level, it is a very small percentage but what are the percentages look like if you grant that down into the press that particular district? what is the largest saving her district, and what does the range of savings look like?
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overall, it looks like most of them are pretty small, but it looks a couple have 1% savings. >> it depends on -- it is a curve, and it is not linear, so your biggest savings would come from your smallest school district. so actually don't recall if we had a school district of 20 students, but that is where -- right, because we are saying however far you are away from 1000 students, you get a certain -- if you have 999, savings, us get a 1% but if you have 20 students, you get a savings along the type of curve. wouldsay how much money you potentially save if you were a school desert of 1000 students? -- school district of 1000 students? we don't know for sure that this money is in fact wasted. some school district have been
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doing some really cool things with it. maybe they are spending this money on some great filters. we don't know. we are just there saying we know the economies of scale of this in education. we try to look at it across the country so that ignores all sorts of significant variations in terms of what the school district look like. together, we wanted to highlight -- this is not a rural issue. what we see it the top state, which of the largest numbers of districts with this type of unnecessary cost or loss of ,otential capacity, new jersey is not a state that people would come to mind when i think about losing money when it comes to economies of scale and education system. >> could i just -- >> yeah, sure. >> i would like to comment. is sort of ay, it pushback because generally what happens in urban or suburban, trickles down to rural, we do a
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biannual report called viral last report, our we looked at the prevalence of small schools or small districts in rural. more than half of rural schoolteachers are small by the definition that we use, which would be less than the median size of school district in the country, which was 500 thirtysomething kids or something like that. even with that low bar, more than half of a rural school district would be considered small. measure,d 1000 as the perhapsare looking at 75%, i don't know, of rural districts as a small. if we see that as a problem, then we are seeing rural schools in rural districts and rural education at the problem.
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it would be more inequity issue than it is now. i want to underscore your point that one size does not fit all. that's because it costs more to educate a child or when investing more dollars per child in some of the smaller schools does not mean that that is a waste of resource. that we really have to look lace by place, and we have to consider demographics, we have to consider economics, we have to consider a whole lot more than just the cost per pupil. >> well said. paneliststhank the thanking this report, and all of you for your intense interest in this topic. it is a little different than a lot of the topics we usually discuss from the stage around education, but it is a very and in fact what
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proportion of kids are in rural areas, by your definition? [indiscernible] >> a very significant part of population. so thank you very much, and the way for joining us. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> a quick reminder that if you miss any of this event, you concede on the c-span video library, go to coming up later, a discussion on immigration, state economy, and
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the contribution of immigrants with stephen moore of the "wall street journal." here is a preview. it is from an event hosted last month that the george w. bush institute in dallas. years,he last five roughly, these are just rough numbers -- about one million new jobs in the state of texas in the last five years. roughly one million lost jobs in california. that is amazing. in fact, one of the points that we make, we are writing a book on this, it's the theme right now is one of the great transfers in american history geographically from states like california that don't get it that is notme state a right, and then states like texas, this is one reason to be really bullish on the state of texas. texas and california are the two highest immigration states. one of the interesting things is that texas does a much, much better job in my opinion of economically assimilating immigrants so that they are successful here.
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of aornia is much more welfare state. it indoctrinates immigrants into the welfare system at a much higher pace than texas does. people come to texas, in my opinion, for jobs. people go to california for welfare. so you are seeing, i think, the differing economic outcomes of a result of this. texas is the model that other states should be in your lading. -- in your lading. -- emulating. >> you can see the entire interview at 5:00 p.m. eastern. later, the senate passed an immigration measure in june. the house committee has considered immigration legislation, but nothing has come to the house floor for debate. a reporter from the "national journal" will take your phone calls. townhall gets underway at 7:00 p.m. eastern. >> tonight on c-span for the encore presentation of "first
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ladies." >> campaigning is not allowed. john quincy cannot come out and say i would like for you to vote for me for president. you cannot do that. and you cannot ask for office to record you have to use these subtle back channels command women were a good conduit for that. women would go to lisa to spread their gossip and to ask for favors. she knows that she cannot trust these evil, she is not naïve, and a lot of them are spreading false gossip or false information. they are misleading, they have their own agenda, and she is aware of the clinical game that is going on. -- >> theencore encore presentation of our original series "first ladies" continues tonight on c-span. the freedom house in washington dc hosted a discussion yesterday on the state of civil society in libya a year after the general national congress elections, and
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two years after the collapse of the gaddafi regime. a conflictts include management official from the u.s. institute of peace say they're using social media, especially facebook, as one of the main messages to get their message out. this is about 90 minutes. >> we're very pleased today to be able to host this event. the role of civil society in libya's transition. our panel today is being live streamed by c-span. i would ask you to silence all cell phones or any other objects that make noise, including small children, if anybody brought any little dogs, whatever. thank you. today, this event is cosponsored by the libya group. this group is organized earlier this year. in cooperation with freedom house and the project on middle east democracy.
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it brings together a group of very diverse people concerned with and knowledgeable about libya, including representatives from the think tank world, the ngo community, academic specialists, and business people. many of them, libyan americans. the purpose is to exchange knowledge on and build an awareness of developments in libya. the reason why we identify this as an important lead is because important lead is because libya with its small population and should become an important success story, not only in north africa, but among arab spring transitional countries in general. the consequences of a earlier in in libya arere essential. a failed state that could spread
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instability far beyond its borders. it is a country that will have a major impact on u.s. policy interest in the middle east. we think should be viewed as such, both in washington and beyond. we witnessed power from the national transitional console. since then, growing political chaos, a deteriorating security situation, and the crisis of confidence in government institutions, has really combined to deal a serious blow to the democratic transition. most recently, the country was rocked on july 29 by the murder of a human rights advocate. the 61st victim of a political assassination in libya since the end of the civil war.
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a writer says this averages out to one political assassination every 12 days. the assassination was followed by a prison break in benghazi, attacks, and the resignations of senior libyan political leaders. libya's problems go even deeper, as most of you are aware. hundreds of armed roots have laid a destabilizing role in libyan politics are notoriously, the general national congress, which it to pass a punitive and destabilizing a exclusion law aimed at members of the former gadhafi regime. the crisis of security we have seen playing out has also been accompanied by a crisis of governments. it is widely seen as paralyzed and unresponsive, and delays,
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most notably, the roadmap to graphing the constitution, development of the electoral law, the graphing committee, and writing the constitution itself. there are real costs to all of these crises. instability in libya threatens the country's transition, but also significant instability in north africa. libya has emerged as a key route for the illegal smuggling of of arms, migrants, and drugs. mainly aimed at transitioning toward europe. a bright spot in all of this has been the emergence of civil society in libya. estimates vary, as there has been no formal census of the population in the country. anywhere from several hundred to several thousand organizations have sprung up in the country, starting even before gadhafi's demise with the liberation of the eastern part of the country. the organizations are involved in a broad array of issues, environmental concerns, to civic education and discourse, women's
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rights, and promotion of civic and political liberties. these organizations can and do play a key role in the liberating demands, and then presenting them to the central government. in the absence of effective governance, civil society can play a key role focusing attention on issues which really do matter for the daily lives of libyans. civil society is poised to play a key role in libya's troubled but ongoing democratic transition, but these organizations face challenges, including a lack of domestic funding for their activities, which is surprising considering libya's oil wealth but a major concern.
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this is an entry point for international assistance. they want the assistance from and ties to the international community. this is one of the best opportunities the international community has to help build a stable and democratic libya. we are very fortunate to have a traffic panel with us today to discuss the broader issues of the situation inside libya today. let me start with the gentleman to my left. the founder and president of the citizenship forum for democracy and development in benghazi. he has been a long-standing democracy advocate and frequently contributes to international media outlets on the topic of libya. he was the executive director of the libyan rights and political development form from 2004 2010.
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from 2006 to 2009, he was the washington program director at the center for study of islam and democracy. the president and cofounder of the new libyan foundation, which helps to build libyan society through incubation centers that serve as office and training space. it also supports emerging civil society constitution network of approximately 907 organizations, to ensure the principles of inclusiveness, participation, and transparency are enshrined in the constitution grafting process. finally, we have joyce casey joining us, a program officer. she currently serves as a member of the iraq and north africa programs.
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from 2010 to 2012, she worked in iraq. and managing u.s. ip's bagdhad office. she has conducted field research in rwanda and egypt, and has worked in the field for many community-based, nongovernmental organizations. with that, i would like to turn it over to our panel. >> thank you. first of all, i would like to thank the team for giving us this opportunity to speak to activists in civil society environment in d.c. it goes without saying i have to also think my daughter. she has been a massive
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encouragement. to speak to you about libya is to speak to you about my heart. working for libya has been the story of my life. even when i fled the country after being imprisoned and tortured and kicked out of the university, i continued to work with activists to combat the regime and create an opening and opportunity for our people in libya. i would like to thank here for the national endowment for democracy, because they have been, in the last 10 years, backing us in our work. thank you, ned. to talk to you about the role of civil society today, this seemed like a far-fetched possibility two years ago.
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those who know the situation in libya, we combat the regime for many years. to see its end suddenly, the way it had, was beyond our imaginations. the fight for freedom in libya started in 1969. i am a witness of that personally. it manifested in a new forum during february, 2011. many people, close friends and colleagues, sacrificed their lives, for the liberation of libya. even with the turbulent transition we are seeing, i just wanted to share this reflection with you. with regard to the current environment in libya, i will touch base on a few points, then try to emphasize.
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the security issue is number one, number two, and number three in the country. we have the armed groups who have the arms and who are really the de facto power in our country. we have a nation army in the making. they have not been able to take charge of the country. we have assinations attacks on police stations and jailbreaks and other things. in benghazi alone, over 50 incidents of assassinations, unfortunately. attacks on foreign embassies and diplomats -- i think you all are aware of it. the perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice, or we have not yet
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received any information of who has done these things. there has been a large question mark of who has been behind these things. an unfortunate political eyes nation, which led to the resignation. two of the most notable leaders in libya, they seem to be, made the decision, it is better to resign then to be kicked out. the gnc elected for the first time a minority member to be the president of the gnc. a small minority there in libya. the election is a positive sign libya does recognize it has equal rights.
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the passing of the over delayed electoral law for the community, it went through a lot of hardships and ups and downs. and then it was done, not many people were happy with it but it was itself a landmark. we would see the results of it. now we would be working on the election of the committee of the constitution, but it is a major point in the history of the building of libya. rebuilding of libya. the recognition of the culture and languages, the forum weeks ago, it really gave people some of their god-given rights. that is something we cherish and appreciate.
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we come to the turmoil within the gnc, two major political blocks. the coalition of the national forces, the party for justice, linked to the muslim brotherhood. both of them did make very strong statements. that they would be acting as individuals and they would not receive any orders. what we have from the gnc, only small parties, or other small parties with one or two members.
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the major two blocks made a drastic decision was made that they are all independent members and do not have any political allegiance, or any linkage with them and their party. the cleaning up of the gnc has not started yet, because of the law. that is something we are still waiting the committee to implement. it has just started working. we would have to see what would be the result of the government of members who would be considered to be not acceptable according to the law. as for the government, those who are following the news, in one of the best sources of
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information for news about libya, you can see the inability of prime minister to govern has been quite clear. there are so many calls for him to step down. his failure to provide even basic services are now considered -- many members of the gnc are calling for the change for the prime minister there. he has been set back also by the resignation of some members. the most astounding was the resignation of his first deputy, one of the best democrats that worked in libya since the beginning of the revolution. he was the one they give the continuing of the restoration
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there. he said because of the inability to share power, he is resigning because of that. people are increasing their skepticism against political parties, and i think it is because of 42 years, the culture, partisan politics against democracy, and, whoever is a member of the party is a traitor of the country. 42 years of indoctrination cannot be wiped out in one or two years and plus the fact that the political parties have not learned yet how to exist and work with businesses. the consensual culture of democracy has not yet taken roots in libya. that is one of the reasons why there is skepticism. there are people who are feeding the skepticism.
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rumors that he is being supported by the emirates and the construction party. liberal lists and secularist are supported, it goes around and around. it is just hearsay. hearsay and rumors do move the streets sometimes. people are becoming unhappy with the government and the gnc because of the lack of productivity. people have seen the members of the gnc were failing to act according to what they expected them to do. i always tell my trainees, when they work with me, as we are, we will produce our members.
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we cannot bring angels while we are not angels. the verdicts are contrary to our society. we have to be with them until they learn to work according to the norms of political work. just to touch base, my major work is that civil society is really the brightest society in libya. as you know, civic activity and political parties, civic society organizations and media outlets, the only ngo's that existed were those that were charitable in nature and worked with a regime. and italy. any type of association organization would banish it by death. any linkage to political parties.
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associations embedded in distinct structure and carefully monitored, existed in place of independence unions -- labor unions and organizations. since the uprising in benghazi in february 2011, and new libyan civic arena was to build itself from scratch, from zero. during the revolution, civil society played an important role in humanitarian relief, and assistance, working with the displaced and refugees, sustaining efforts to provide basic services such as medical services. we also witness social political activities, media outlets, from one weekly state newspaper, to more than 150 unique
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publications in the city of benghazi. benghazi became the top of these activities for 24/7. there was no letdown until a downfall of qadhafi. the city was buzzing with visitors, activist, media people, it was really the olden days of the city of benghazi. some of you have seen the benghazi uprising. it clearly shows people were really engaged in whole some worked to bring down the dictator. it was a revolution in may 2000 in which i attended -- my work focused on democracy, education, and political development.
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since then, the center for citizenship forum organized close to 40 workshops around the country. we have successfully trained over 1500 participants, and some of them are member of the gnc. they covered the basic pencils of democracy and compatibility with values. with the end of gaddafi, a regime which started off as a group of people working together informally, began to develop structurally. and soon, organizations were formed. i have to cut short. there is also a nice and wonderful example of civil society organizations taking care of all issues.
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an example is women in benghazi decided to clean up the situation by bringing back at the traffic lights and giving it to drivers -- [indiscernible] meaning it is a bag in the car. that is one of the examples of creative working. there were also people who took care of cleaning up the mess in the public squares, bringing chairs and flowers so people could sit in them. volunteering. the evolution of civil society in this short timeframe has empowered the mission. it has led people to see it is not up to the government to do everything. this is a new culture. the people have started to say, it was done by the private
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sector, not the government. which means that people have really changed the tide in many ways. in terms of numbers, cso's in benghazi, 750. a small city in the cornerstone, more than 50 members of the civil society organizations. talking about benghazi, we show how civil society mobilized and took the life of ambassador chris stevens, who was considered to be a champion of the libyan post. american activist and civilians alike condemned the attack. groups organizing -- a stronger movement in benghazi, as the counterparts.
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when triboli decided it should be cleansed from all military purchase. they are still working on this. what does the civil society in libya need? financial and technical resources first and foremost. even though it is a rich country, it has not captured itself on how to support civil society organizations. so the political actors and international players are still in need of support in the financial side of civil society in libya. these resources can be funded by the libyan government if it were done in a better way. again with the international center, bold movement for democracy, and also a network of
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democrats in the arab world, two major works in benghazi and in triboli -- how to -- working to bring this worse is -- [indiscernible] say that civilrking on it.i hay society must feel safe working. it should not be under pressure by armed groups or political oppression. in conclusion, what we can all agree upon is that it's such challenging times, civil society is the key to getting libby's-- libya's momentum back. it is time to make it a priority again, and take it more seriously so that their work can move to the next level. next.ank you very much.
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>> my presentation is going to be relatively short. i figured youutes. all probably have a lot of questions considering the amount of work you have been doing on this topic. i would like to give an overview of the situation from the eyes of a citizen on the ground. there has been an increase in petty crimes and revenge crimes intripoli in the absence of law enforcement or rule of law. people have taken lawn to their own hands. unfortunately, this is something citizens are relying on to maintain the peace. there is an x collation into-- escalation of militias fighting, with firearms every day, in certain areas. people are learning to avoid these areas, and have an economic breakdown in those
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areas. there is a prolonged absence of international priority and investors, and it is creating anxiety among citizens who were hoping to see economic growth at this point in time. with the exception of the occasional traffic control, there's a perception of a total void in law-enforcement, and a rule of law. this is pretty much true. generally, local people from tripoli make up 20% of the population because it is the economic and political center of libya. there is immigration from other immigration,- not but there are a lot of citizens who live in tripoli.but they are not from tripoli. this affects the social nine and make. within civil society, challenges are extremely limited.
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how to develop a team, how to execute on projects. we see a recurring theme is to have ideas of what they want to do. usually large and elaborate, but little experience on how to execute on a project, or create very basic. 90% of ideas will not be taken into implementation phase for that reason. civil society is effective on the local level. not very affected on a national level. locally the have access to decision-makers. they are present citizens. they carry the voice of the average citizen. they are able to have an impact with local councils. on a national level, you do not see anywhere nearly as effective. there is a deep distrust of unknown groups and people within
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civil society, as well as the gmc within civil society.-- as well as the gnc across libya. mechanisms nation for national movement. understandingk of or acknowledgment of the difficulties that exist in government. sometimes expectations can be misaligned. institutional access between decisions and decision- makers. most decision-makers to match the have an office locally. they do not have a staff. there is no official website you can talk to your rivers in the no official website where you can talk to your representatives. after elections, citizens felt there was a representation process.indeed, there is not. special interest groups are more effective at impacting decision- makers. there is a presidents for--
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there has been no precedence for government and civil society and rescission on a national level. there are initiatives, like the initiatives about the civil ,unlight -- civil society law they have not created a adopting such legislation and initiatives for the purpose of creating an alternative. also, there is a one-year initiative to guarantee that 35% of the constitutional commission it wasprised of women. probably the largest initiative libya.type in unfortunately when the time came, despite having a great heel of support, it was not considered in the making of the electoral law. women do not have a special theerest group, or arms.
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lesson was that does not really matter how well organized you are or how many people you represent. that was a blow to civil society. in general, the challenge is we -- the challenges we see in libya is that there is a shortsighted vision or no vision for what libya can do, despite the tremendous resources and manpower. they leadership has not created a vision that citizens can work toward. the colts are inherently goes against an institutional mindset. towardsst be reform building a stable democratic institution. elaborately. that is reflected as a priority by all decision-makers. the non-institutional mindset randomowards very decision-making, very emergency, a constant state of emergency.
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that ultimately does create an emergency. strategy towards communication and public education. one of the things that civil society is working towards is the promotion of legislation that would guarantee adequate inclusiveness, participation, and transparency in the constitution drafting process. one thing in the legislation that the gmc is looking at positively is an office that would create branches in each municipality and engaged citizens, starting with -- starting education on what the constitution is, what democracy is, and what representation looks like. and have them take part in the process. we have to look at civil society needs which is essentially more support but also looking at civil society on a national level. that requires civil society to
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engage in to coordinate and to create precedents for civil legitimatebecome a means for impacting decision makers. . >> thank you very much. >> choice? >> first of all, very humbling to be on a panel with all of you . i heard about you long before he met you and i have been grateful to work with you since about january. just to throw that out for everyone, the familiar faces i am seeing in the audience, i would like to focus on the organizational capacity outside of civil society. i think that we have heard already that civil society is comprised of a lot of vibrant act ears.-- vibrant actors. there is a culture of a revolutionary spirits. the spirit of volunteerism. you have everyday citizens that are involved in multiple organizations, and excited about contributing positively and holistically to the transition in libya.
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finding ways to take ownership of that. i think that finding a way to bring that excitement together, to coalesce around certain issues, to understand the power advocacy, to understand the structures in the decision- making processes that already exist, that will be a challenge. in addition to having this spirit and passion, there are significant gaps in for good -- civil society. just in the daily news we hear about the importance of building security institutions, i think that often we are forgetting that civil society as institution needs to be built as well. that happens on it -- that happens on an organizational level. international community is helping to make huge gains in that way. we need to re-shift our focus to focus on organizational development.
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a few general observations about this, which i have to say in those many countries i've worked in, i have never witnessed a more empowered group. a more excited group of activists. young people to women, those that are willing to drop everything they are doing to go tot and organize a campaign. develop some sort of educational materials. this excitement needs to be harnessed and put a positive use. what we saw after the initial end of the revolution was lots of these programs taking place. then we kind of had a drop-off and this return to normalcy. people went back to work. people back in school. there was a large number of organizations that were registered. those remained active in met the
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compliance requirements of the ministry of culture dropped off. that is natural in conflict transitioning countries. i would say for my point of view, at this point, there's a tremendous amount of frustration over the donor strategy of engaging civil society. they heard time and time again that there is a commitment to there lacks acts. commitment to building sound organizations. organizations feel like they are jumping from project to project, not strongs commitment to building up the structures that would make them operate more efficiently, whether that is financial management, program management, good governance, all of these things. there is a lag in dedicating to that, but there is support for delivering a different campaigns
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and different projects. a second observation would be that we have a lot of civil society organizations that are very early on in their existence, and we see, you know, there is a focus, a mission in mandate, yet many are jumping from project to project that are far outside of the scope of their mission. that could be the result of donor strategies. it could be the result of a lot of other things. this overwhelming commitment to want to make libya better might mean that an organization might jump around from place to place. if we look at post-conflict and transitioning countries, we know that this is a trend. as civil society develops and becomes more organizationally sound, organizations will stick more to their mission and what is happening right now. i hope we eventually get to that shift, but it is something that is an issue right now. i also highlight engagement with more grassroots organizations. so at this point, a lot of
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feedback that i received, i would say on a daily basis, sometimes more since so many organizations are plugged into facebook, is that there is a frustration in providing training for workshops, but this missing piece of mentoring and technical reach back following those and mediate even. some partners have expressed this feeling of the international community almost up civil society to fail when they train on content analysis and when they do basic training justice isnsitional an reconciliation. all these things are very important and needed. but then you come to a point of implementation, trying to move the skills and apply the skills. and not having the technical reach back and support is a frustration i have heard from a lot of different organizations. i think if we're going to make an impact, we need to shift ourselves and our resources to
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be able to address that, that mentorship role, which the international community and a lot of the organizations that are in this room do a tremendous job at. it means getting out of project cycle focus and focusing more on long-term strategy and organizational development. i think other key parts to engaging with more organization of a lot ofoutside the city centers. it is difficult because of the security situation, because of scarce resources. often when we're doing programming, we can only take so many cities and areas to focus on. but better coordination and ensuring that we have more geographical representation -- representation will be very important. lessons learned and in gaza can up the -- lessons learned in be used elsewhere.
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it will take more knowledge sharing and information sharing on the regional level than what is happening right now. as the panelists have spoken about, there is no national coordination mechanism. if it is happening right now and being communicated right now, what is happening through personal connections, almost every person you talked to really wants some sort of national level way of networking and sharing knowledge. i would also say that a key observation is frustration for grassroot organizations that do not have english in their ability to apply for proposals, their ability to make pitches to the international community. we have to start getting more creative in how we work around the language barrier issue. that doe organizations absolutely phenomenal work, yet it is often very difficult to get to. sometimes it is easier to go to this one if language is already of berrier, so figuring out how to engage.
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we want to make sure that as we're building the institution of civil society, we are not just building those who are easiest to access to access, either geographically or language. to move forward with a few recommendations that outline the organizational of elements i'd of things, we are at a point where training and workshops need to be applied and there needs to be that technical reach back that i was alluding to earlier. issue thatumber one i hear and that people are very excited to apply these skills, yet feel dead in the water throughout implementation. when you get to the point of we have provided this many trainings and workshops, those are hugely valuable and should continue. figuring out how to stay long- term and look at it strategically about sharing vitals and the knowledge of experiencece throughout implementation.
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i can't speak specifically to the fact that if you talk to any libyan, they say we are not iraq so please make no comparisons, but i will do that anyways. hasit -- u.s. id -- usaid had success in leveraging our investments and the capacities that some of the initial training and mentoring is done of the libyan facilitators. thes a way to ensure that information that is being shared and the skills being taught are being taught in a way that is regionally relevant and accessible. something people can really connect to. and that people can understand. so the more creative we can be in figuring out how to leverage our other investments throughout the region and apply those in libya, i think the better. i wanted to talk a little bit definition of civil society in libya, because i feel
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in ourten we get set ways and consider civil society at this point as ngo's. i think what i am hearing for most organizations is it is a huge area we need to start focusing on, engagement with the religious sector, engagement with academics. while many of those people, those leaders are engaged in some way with civil society, figuring out how to expand the definition and thereby expand the engagement to include a much larger cross-section that has a direct access to decision-makers that are hugely influential at a local level and at a national level. just to speak to civil society in transition from a we have heard about the flurry of registrations that took place with the ministry of culture and immediately following the revolution. one of the key areas that remains an issue is that the
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for governingk civil society still does not exist. a lot of organizations are doing tremendous work to ensure that that law, you know, in its final form, is exactly what libya needs. yet, also not having that legal framework creates room for fear and mistrust and not understanding what the role of civil society is, both from a government perspective but also civil society actors themselves not understanding where they have power, where they can leverage, and where there are authorities exist. so the closer we can get to formalizing a law and clarifying and defining what the civil society does, i think that there on abe much more openness national level. i mean, i think civil society , change agents, right now, they have local connections. but there's is still a culture
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of mistrust and fear because that is not defined. i would also say that, in terms this space for civil society to develop as organizations, a few gaps are really glaring. financial management and monitoring. i think good governance -- do you have a charter? you have a mission? do you have a board and executive director? is it clear who is accountable for spending? who is making sure that you are in compliance with the arun rules of the ministry of culture? all these things. if we are committed to building the institution of civil society, it requires a direct really soundilding organizations. that requires a shift away from just mere focus on projects. >> thank you very much peered we will open it up for questions in just a moment. i am going to ask the first one.
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i would like to say, first of all, i enjoyed your presentations very much. i think all three of you had several common threads, but there was one i would like to highlight. the number of voids that exist in libya today, whether it is capacity in civil society organizations, voids in governance at the national level and the need to fill those voids. what we have seen, and this point was mentioned specifically, that you find malicious feeling a lot of these avoids, exercising their influence. i want to focus on civil society. what at a macro level can realistically be done to help civil society at large start filling some of these avoids, -- filling some of these voids? is a need for financing and technical assistance. is there something missing that can help on the national level?
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can we realistically expect that if they are, they can begin to challenge the armed groups for political evidence? can they broaden their political appeal to fill that role? i would ask anybody who would like to comment on it first. i will take a shot at it. first, i think the question is really defining the role of civil society in libya. if you look at the coalition of political groups that were brought together in the political volition, many of the organizations and civil society are part of it. there is not a clear distinction between working for the civil society and working for the political society. that is something that has not yet been clearly marked in the
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culture and the activities in libya. role? -- can they play a can they stand facing the military -- i call them the armed groups -- yes, they can. they have shown me that they can. in benghazi event was a large one which meant to be clearing and gauzy from the military barracks and the military groups in the city -- from thebenghazi military barracks and the military groups in the center. to 38 the cityg as a nonmilitary city. that is something that is made by public demand, public the two majors in
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centers of tripoli. both of them are filled with these people. and quite often. there was a murky relationship. people of the civil society worked heavily and coordinated nationally, but it was not done until some military groups occupied the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of justice. many people think that there is an impact of this occupation of themilitary towards exaggeration of political law. it could be. no one can deny the fact that the pressure with the armed groups occupying the ministries would have an effect doing that. the question for us in libya, do not just judge what goes on in .enghazi and tripoli there are other places that have worked it out and solved many of
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the issues without having to go to arms. and, you know,gs except did tensions between some the sites that happened in the western mountains between some ,f the tribes and in the south and in the east which is known to be the tribal basin of libya, it has not happened. it just shows that it is not the tribes. it is some kind of animosity that can be created. and who feeds it? and who ignites it? there are many speculations. but to conclude, the civil society organizations can and have played and have shown they can stand up to the armed groups. >> thank you. anybody else? >> i would simply agree. i would say a few things. number one, civil society is in a much better place than i would civil society at
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this point when it comes to this blurred line between political parties versus civil society organization. you see an active resistance becoming more political, whereas in tunisia, it is so blurred that it is difficult to tell who is a political party and who is a civil society organization. it is a huge positive that civil society is clear on what they want. they want and accountable government. is it happening at the pace that they would like? definitely not. do they recognize it takes time? definitely. if you look at a lot of the recent polling that a few organizations in this room have sponsored, there is still the optimism that while things are moving slowly, there is an appreciation that democracy is going to take an insanely long time. to your specific western, i think the legal framework question is key. how can they operate on a
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national level ones that legal for work is in place? i think it makes it a bit easier for them to go and take larger national level actions. i think advocacy is a huge issue. you have a lot of civil society organizations that are really passionate, and they want to influence the decision. and that immediate response is that we will protest here or i will talk to this person. yet, systematically understanding where decisions are made, who are the influencers, what the structures are that we need to work through to impact a larger scale decision, that is missing. so finding a way to get civil society as a whole to understand their role of advocacy, and with that a mapping of the structures in place that they need to tackle or work alongside with two collaborate to that -- to get that kind of national level or even institutional change.
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>> thank you very much. open it up now to questions. i have colleagues in the middle of the room with a microphone. since we are on c-span, please wait for the microphone. ok. >> hello, thank you for an excellent presentation. is about the work in the to terror -- in the territory. what is the responsiveness of action?ans to get what i am afraid of is that they are relying on the foreigners. sooner or later, there will not be a response from the libyans who will work it out on the ground. do you see the
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responsiveness? thank you. >> i will answer your question. can you hear me? i am under the belief that in approaching the civil society support center under the ministry of culture on why they have not made mechanisms available to finance society, the answer is usually because very society's capacity is limited and there are sufficient needs for funding by international bodies. to the extent that the funding usually is not used at the end of the year. in libya, there is a great concern with corruption, which goes hand-in-hand with the absence of institutions that can monitor the spending of funding. in the absence of such institutions and in the absence of the capacity for civil society to execute on programs for the majority of civil society, the understanding is that currently it is working ok, the funding, as it stands.
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secondly, we do have one of our the libyannts from international telecommunications company, a local libyan company that used to be owned by the government. it is moving towards independence. our experience with that is that while they offer us cash in a any essentially, which program's dream can come true, but with capacity, the support is limited. it took about nine months to get the grants issued to us. some of the items in the contract are not necessarily following through. they just changed their board of directors because of the political isolation law. so the people we signed with the initially have replaced. because the situation and because libyan institutions are not becoming more stable and stronger, becoming more fluid, we believe there will be reliant on foreign funding for some more time to come. therefore, i think may be a
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transition plan a couple of years from now is probably more appropriate than trying to develop a local funding mechanism at this point in time. >> thank you. >> i will take a shot at it, too. sides to that. that are runties within civil groups of civil , i have seen it personally. there is an attitude by the private sector, even though it is still nascent, to have support. event's. but programs, not yet. that is where i think even the ministry of culture and civil society, they have not yet stepped up to the plate and organized. i even suggested to them to create a libyan endowment for democracy, something like this they can support programs.
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supportingt organizations, just support programs and lick some of the programs be active. you are supporting militia. you are supporting people with a lot of money. supported society and groups that can build and it will not be wasted. the are convinced that mechanism of supporting his not yet been made from the official side of it. as for the private sector, it is still in a nation stage -- and a nascient stage. it has not been strong enough to support the organizations and programs. ok, we raise the question of the legal framework for the civil society organizations, which i agree is very important.
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we have seen what happens when you have a less than fully free legal framework in which civil society organizations can operate in places like egypt, which obviously has undergone foreign funding trials, so- called ngo trials. there is such a law under consideration in libya right now that suggested is very liberal if adopted. i am curious as to how you see that going forward. what is the political context? what is the attitude towards, for example, foreign funding and foreign support towards civil society organizations in libya? i made the assertion that it is fairly open. on the other hand, there is a suspicion that was nurtured under 42 years of the gadhafi regime to be suspicious of foreign interference and foreign
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agendas. how does that play out in the development of this legal framework? , ifrom my own experience have done workshops all around libya. ienever i start a workshop, tell the people that my organization is funded by the national endowment for democracy, an american institution funded by the congress. you feel uncomfortable, you can gladly leave the room, and none left the room. there was a lot of accusations against us during gaddafi that we are the stooges of cia and all of the junk. legislation,iety there are two or three graphs that we have studied. the development program
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by the united nations that is working with us. we're are working on creating the best programs for legislation that we can present by the civil society organizations to the gnc. and we engage this together. i think we are hopeful that this process will bring about the best of the libya and minds, contributed by the best experts. general in the mainstream, there is not much what you can see of the culture or xenophobia that you find in other places. we all say thanks for nato. in many ways, there is no xenophobia against the other. there are some elements that want to create it, but the general culture come a there is a forthcoming attitude. the question is how i think my
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colleagues spoke about this, transparency is very important so people feel there is no cheating and money under the table. realitiesto know the and with very transparent attitudes. i think most of the civil society organizations, at least until now, are clean from the mess. bunky business, that is a new one for me. i would echo what you said. often we are finding that organizations are open to in- kind exchanges or an agreement where they are cost sharing but there is no direct handover of funds. not wanting to be seen, both within their community or their family, as pushing a political or foreign agenda, therefore you as an international organization, you provide the
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technical expert. you pay for the venues. you do this. and then we will bring our people and we will coordinate the logistics with you. we are seeing that. instead of taking on those funds, because there is also acknowledgment of a lack of capacity to manage those funds, also to not want the perception of being pushing a foreign agenda or pocketing money. that is a very, very important. >> thank you. another question here. and can you identify yourself as well? >> thank you. dietrich withck the u.s.-libya business association. it is great to be back here and hearing your voice in washington. it has been too long. -- i haveck to libya been back to libya a couple times since the revolution. first in april of 2012 when we were both in tripoli and
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benghazi in the private sector. june inently in tripoli. one of the things that struck me, we talk about the cost of libyan private sector and its role in civil society. i sort of see a dichotomy where the private sector serves a role in accomplishing things that need to be done to the government is not in a position or is not able to do at the moment. probably the most well-known example that you cited, clearing the airport in mr. atta -- in landing.or a in june, a prominent libyan businessman was underwriting the publication of critics, of books and pamphlets explaining how civics work and distributing them to mosques. i have seen less of a role of as aibyan private sector
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legitimate civil society stakeholder trying to voice their views and providing input into public policy. whether that be transparency and corruption aspects of development of public policy to encouraging the libyan government to reengage in the international global trading engagingth the wto or in various forums with united states government. interested in any of your opinions on whether the libyan private sector, the commercial sector is viewed generally, and if they view themselves as a needed and relevant stakeholder , andbyan civil society
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what, if anything, is being done to both increase and challenge develop their own capacity to serve responsibly in that role? thank you. well, not to speak of something that is in the making, but the center for international credit enterprise is working with the public sector and private sector in libya in developing a vision of the role of the private sector in developing not just the infrastructure for the country and for business, but also in the democracy building. initialsomething, the stage of it has been done with them. people are excited about it. it is in the making. as we said, technical resources are needed. you could even help in that
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side for the programs. >> there is legislation on the books before the revolution requiring that corporations give 32% of the profits to special responsibility programs. a few companies and libya have taken it upon themselves to do that. enforced.w is not apparently there are many corporations not paying the tax or the fee. as far as the involvement, as i mentioned earlier, there are great relationships on a local level. but there is not a lot of collaboration on a national andl between businessmen business within civil society. of course, tripoli is kind of just an example of that. a town, although it is acts more like a national body than a local body. so most of the economic -- the
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economic center is tripoli, because those relationships really do not exist between civil society and the economic sector and decision-makers. that type of collaboration does not exist. , andhere is a trade town civil society kind of operates along very practical lines of city, how toour contribute to education and healthcare and infrastructure. that is the role of civil , not reallyisrata engaged in political or civic participation for the most part. so that is an exception. with most of the money being in tripoli and the absence of communication between civil society, decision-makers, and businesses, a game, i think the primary source for success in libya is increased coordination and communication. , it is about
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building capacity. we are putting together a proposal for the undp on a court it -- on a coordinating group for the constitution writing process. we want to advocate for major issues once that time comes. one of the main things we have identified is the need to, not just ordinate but because the trust is missing, to build trust actively with the different players when you are corded meeting with groups, with events, with retreats. bringing in experts who deal with the psychology, the real psychology that libyans have to face on a day to day basis and they are working with others. teambuilding, coordinating, not really in a big umbrella but when it comes down to what everyone here probably does as part of their organizational development on a very practical level, people building. there is a theory on social trust, but itt is begins with the individual,
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trust in themselves and belief in their own capacity. then trust their community. the highest level is trust in the state and state institutions. we are asking libyans to put trust in state and state institutions. it is not exist of the most fundamental levels. can i contribute anything? what is my value and worth? really bringing it down to the most basic block for the conversation in libya around civil society. >> thank you. >> i am with freedom house. the discussion so far is largely the challenges of civil society in libya. but i have also seen a lot of enthusiasm and passion from some and they'res, finding relatively more success on a local level than on a national level. and you share specific examples of organizations or and initiatives that have stood out
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for being particularly effective ? and are there any lessons that can be drawn from them? especially since international donor attitudes can change in the short-term. thank you. was, specificn examples of organizations that have really stood out and been successful in pushing a public agenda, and what are the lessons to be learned from those examples? >> i think the first example groups the coordinating for the law. it was a national campaign all over the country, and it has really worked out and a and night for months until they have achieved the law. this shows the strength of the civil society when they bring their forces together, that they
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can achieve something. this is marked with the military groups that divide the ministries. many people forget that it was not just the two military groups . , but areilitary groups the coordinating group for the political isolation. they have worked a and night and have contacted members of the gnc, contacted the media. they used the tv quite often. they have really made it a national campaign. success ofexample of civil society organizations working to achieve something with the efficacy of the higher- level. .hat is my take >> i agree, although i do think the way the political party that am ahe isolation law
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the position -- i think there was a lot more politics probably to that law then there was just grassroots civil society activism. and in the interest of citizenship versus a political interest of any sort. but that was a very successful campaign, and it was a campaign that leveraged all the tools on the table when the time was , including the threat of violence towards the end of the campaign. but on a local level, there have been just a selection of counsel heads, for example, that have been done very much in consultation with citizens and with civil society. for instance, the local municipality election laws are being determined very much with civilllaboration of
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society. the national civic education -- the national council for human rights and civil liberties has a section for civil society, and they are working with civil up the on how to draw local municipality election laws and how to guarantee maximum citizen participation in municipality legislation. , cleaning level campaigns. healthcare campaigns. local education campaigns. fantastic really anti-smoking campaign that citizens have led here at local legislation has been passed about not smoking indoors. the something like that on a national level would be very difficult. add this civil society constitutional initiative, which rob has been a
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very active member in leading and supporting. the fact that you had civil society from across the country come together to develop the manifesto of runcible's that should be enshrined in a constitutional process and reach ,greement on those principles and then nominate members within their own communities to coordinate and start feeding these principles back and start arranging dialogue sessions to get input on the manifesto and feed the recommendations back through a civil society working group that got those recommendations to decision- makers across the board. i think that is a huge success in the fact that civil society, you know, over 900 organizations are registered. that is hugely successful. i would also say that the work of civil society in benghazi with some of the shuttle
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diplomacy discussions and negotiations going on, civil society takes an active role in engaging with moi, moj, police, security officials. sharing information, negotiating cease-fire agreements am a pulling people to the table to make sure everybody is on the to demonstrate and embrace that the for the of benghazi are rule of law. these initiatives are powerful. civil society is not a front, even when there is a lack of national level government response. and when there is that lack of response, civil society is demanding it, and that is a huge success. >> thank you. hi, i am from freedom house. i am a libyan american. i want to get the sense from the
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panel -- first of all, thank you on the uplifting remarks fact that as grim as it may appear, there is a lot of momentum on the ground. when you talk about civil society, how widespread is the activism or the participation of citizens and civil society? there are a number of organizations, maybe about 1500 that are written on the books, but what is your sense of greater citizen participation? a minority of people that are part of these organizations? a lot of libyans involved in this? talk a little bit about that. sort ofld like to add an adjunct to that question. in terms of advocacy, reaching people, getting people's participation, what is the role of social media in libya?
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fairly limited internet penetration there, but how is it being used and how could it be used more effectively to engage more people in civic participation? >> as far as citizen participation, i think benghazi and tripoli are very different. you would have different results. but i think initially people wanted to participate. but in the absence of any results, participation in tripoli waned off. as a result, you have a handful of organizations, probably not with very strong grassroots outreach, and then you have groups that kind of already exist in the outskirts of notoli but that are necessarily doing civil society activities better just organizing community activities and keeping their communities
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safe on a daily basis. depending on your definition of civil society, i suppose, but there are active citizens. there is no rule of law in libya. i hate to say it, but it is a state of anarchy. but it has always been that way, even before the revolution. so citizens have learned to manage their affairs and they have learned to really kind of create the piece and go about their business day today -- day- to-day. so they are actively working towards keeping the safety, keeping the order, by virtue of the practice of libyan citizens. but civil society working towards a specific cause and advocating, very limited in that regard. >> i will take a shot at the two issues. activitiesl, cso's are ups and downs.
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there are issues that really thege and heat relationship, like the issue -- the most dire issue now in the is major metropolis business. in those two cities, it has shown that the people of the two cities are very much in line of trying to work out and push the government to cleanse the cities from armed groups. it is an ongoing process. all available means have been used. as far as social media advocacy, i have seen it in benghazi. i am sure that benghazi is still the hub of the revolution,
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regardless of many of the problems. the center of activities in example, thereor was the assassination and it reverberates all over the country. many people from the south and the east came to benghazi to participate in the demonstrations against the killing and also giving support for the people and for the family. yetjust to say, it is not -- the absence of the rule of law, we are not the wild west, by the way. always kind of managed ourselves. >> but there is a hidden factor. 32 million pieces of weapons are in libya, which means almost every libyan is armed. that has created, by the way, some kind of ability, because if
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they are to attack your home -- they know that even policemen cannot give you a ticket because they know you have a gun or something. it is a silverlight situation. in a way that you can look at it , there is a benghazi group i have dealt with a lot that uses the facebook methodology a lot. it is creating movement. seen ai has almost not week without a demonstration. in many ways, regardless of the absence of the security presence , i have met with a lot of , from civilnghazi society, from local government, from the security and the
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military to create what is called the chamber of security in benghazi. their oath is to work together. so there is an effort of civil society to engage in the security and the safety of the city. what they can bring to the plate thehat they can bring street which is a very important factor that has never been played before. >> thank you. anybody have any comment on the social media aspect of this and how it has been used and how it can be used more effectively in the future? >> and the internet is still weak. that is a problem in libya. >> exactly. >> during the revolution among facebook you have a lot of closed groups, private groups, invite-only groups. what we have seen over the last two years is that a lot of those groups are coming out into the
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open. they are creating an online platform where they are purposely trying to engage across the country. i think that is a really positive step where people at first were afraid to be as open on facebook, and now you can find anything literally on facebook. people are mobilizing on facebook. differentharing very opinions. they are engaging in discussion and dialogue. even if that is just on facebook, i think that is translating in other ways to your daily dinner conversation, to civil society working group meetings that you are attending, these sorts of things. that is a really positive step. a lot of these close groups have come out into the open. when i was in libya, i did a to explore with irx the presence of media and how people in government and civil society and business use media. the discovery was that almost everybody agreed that the most
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legitimate source of media for most libyans was facebook. people-it was that driven content and you could check out various different reflecto see how they it on the news. basically a one-stop shop for investigating what is happening. it was wonderful that a resource like that was available. even members of congress said that often times they got their news from facebook before they got it from any official speaker, because the speaker was limited to a lot of bureaucracy within the gnc. there are many ways to leverage that, because there has not been any real facebook campaigns leveraged around civil society movements or causes. i think americans have a to createidea of how online campaigns. campaigning in general, how to
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get people involved. but creating up portal and text that people want to share on facebook. creating news and uploading videos on youtube. that area of social activism has not been tapped into. there is a lot of potential considering how many young people use facebook. but the internet is limited. where it is available, facebook tends to be the most popular >> i think we have time for one more question. if not, i threaten to ask one myself area -- ask one myself. it's a general one to all of the panelists. if you had advice for the international community on how to more effectively support the democratic transition in libya, whether it is through increased engagement with civil society


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